Filmed over three years in Homs, Syria, the film accompanies two outstanding young men from the time they are dreaming of freedom and defending pacifism, to the time when choices are forced to be different.
Basset, the 19 years old national football team goalkeeper, turning into an iconic demonstration leader and singer, then, becoming a fighter and Ossama, a 24 years old renowned citizen-cameraman who is critical, pacifist, and ironic, as his views change till he is detained by the regime's security forces.
It is the story of a city, which the world heard of a lot, but never really got close to. RETURN TO HOMS is a modern times epic of youth in war, and of forced choices..
- Special Mention, International Competition & Human Rights Award - ZagrebDox
- Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award - Full Frame Documentary FF
- Grand Prize, Student Jury Prize - FIFDH Geneva - Paris
- Grand Jury Award - Sundance FF
- Golden Gate Award Special Jury Mention - San Francisco IFF
- Silver Horn (Documentary Competition) - Kraków FF
- Special Jury Mention - Abu Dhabi FF
- Special Mention (Best International Documentary) - RIFF
- Talal Derki
- Talal Derki
- Kahtan Hassoun
- Ossama al Homsi
- Orwa Nyrabia
- Anne Fabini
- Katarina Holmberg
- PROACTION FILM
- VENTANA FILM GMBH
- JOURNEYMAN PICTURES
...a sober, sobering bulletin of unambiguous intention and undeniable power.
With its climactic freeze frame, Derki captures the men's uneasy combination of desperation and triumph in a single image: With nowhere left to go, they still push ahead.
Born in Damascus in 1977, Talal Derki is a Syrian filmmaker who studied filmmaking in Athens and graduated in 2003. He made two short fiction films, and five documentaries. His films were previously screened in various festivals (Thessaloniki, Rotterdam Arab Film Festival...) and received several awards such as the Silver Hawk at the Rotterdam Arab Film Festival 2011 for AZADI, and a Special Mention from the Jury at the Arab Camera Film Festival 2012, for LAJAT.
Both films made during the Syrian revolution and screened with alias names, before Talal Derki decided to leave Syria with his family.
He also worked intensively as a video reporter, for important agencies and outlets, including Thomson Reuters, CNN, ITV, Al Arabiya, France 24 among others. He was a finalist at the Rory Peck Awards 2012. In addition to being a filmmaker, Talal Derki is also a published poet.